Rambus vs. Infineon trial begins

— 11:38 AM on April 24, 2001

Steven C. Den Beste highlights this bit from EBN's coverage:

A new wrinkle surfaced in the opening day arguments when Rambus' Monihan told the jury that Infineon's alleged infringement of SDRAM patents and failure to pay royalties puts the eight chip makers who have licensed the technology from Rambus at a competitive disadvantage.

He charged that Infineon is getting a free ride and able to charge lower prices by escaping royalty payment.

The charge in court Monday echoed an earlier complaint by Rambus SDRAM licensee Elpida Memory Inc. that it was forced to pay royalties to Rambus when Infineon and litigants in two other cases involving Micron technology and Hynix Semiconductor (formerly Hyundai Electronics Industries Co.) could offer SDRAMs at lower prices because they weren't paying royalties.

Mr. Den Beste comments:

What the heck has this got to do with anything? Because some companies buckled under, this somehow means that it's unfair that one company stood up and decided to fight for its rights?

In the mean time, Infineon apparently thinks it has evidence that Rambus deliberately amended its patents three years ago to retroactively cover the SDRAM standard. If this is true and proved, Rambus is in deep trouble. It means that all the royalties already paid to it for SDRAM would be the result of fraud and could be recovered by suit. It also means that top execs at Rambus might be subject to criminal prosecution.

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